Cardinals WR Rondale Moore is expected to see more of the field in 2022, as Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus writes (subscription required). Given the departure of Christian Kirk in free agency and the six-game suspension that DeAndre Hopkins will serve to start the season, that should not come as much of a surprise, but it is noteworthy nonetheless.
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury acknowledged earlier this year that Moore — who saw 45% of Arizona’s offensive snaps in his rookie campaign in 2021 — will be a bigger part of the offense, and he specifically referenced the need to give the second-year pro more opportunities in space. Indeed, Moore’s size (5-7, 180) makes it difficult for him to physically dominate off the line of scrimmage, and his high-end speed will be best-utilized if QB Kyler Murray can get him the ball with room to run.
Interestingly, Moore’s ostensible big-play potential was not put on display last year. The Purdue product posted a measly 1.2-yard average depth of target in 2021, which, according to Kevin Cole of Pro Football Focus, was the third-lowest mark among rookie wideouts since 2006 (subscription required). Especially surprising is the fact that, of Moore’s 54 receptions, 37 came behind the line of scrimmage (h/t Neil Dutton of 4for4.com). And, as Cole posits, Arizona’s draft-day acquisition of similarly diminutive speed merchant Marquise Brown could mean that the club does not see Moore as a legitimate field stretcher.
The good news for Moore is that he was quite efficient with his targets, as one would hope for a player running primarily short and intermediate routes. His 54 catches came on just 64 passes thrown in his direction, good for a terrific 84.4% catch rate despite a low 8.1 yards-per-reception average.
Per Alex Sutton of CardsWire.com, the slot receiver role vacated by Kirk is generally assumed to belong to Moore. That is where he saw the majority of his snaps in 2021, and that familiarity can only help. Both Kingsbury and assistant head coach Shawn Jefferson have said that they will expand Moore’s route tree in 2022, and even if he is not asked to run many go routes in 2022, the presence of Brown — and Hopkins, when he returns from suspension — could open up the field for Moore to make the most of his speed and post significant YAC.
In addition to his expected uptick in snaps on the offensive side of the ball, Moore still projects as the club’s primary return man. He returned 21 punts and 13 kickoffs last year, though his averages (8.1 yards per punt return, 22.4 yards per kick return) were not particularly notable.
During Hopkins’ absence, the Cards are expected to have Brown and A.J. Green receive the bulk of the work outside the numbers.